I haven’t baked this cake for a couple of years until I baked it in a lull in the heat last week and again this week. Tart with yoghurt, fragrant with lemon zest, this is (if you can bear to turn on the oven) a perfect summer afternoon tea cake. It comes together quite easily with simple ingredients that are ready to hand. This is a cake I’ve posted before as a celebration cake, baked in layers and filled with lemon curd, but it is just as good served plain or can be fancied up to make a summertime dinner party dessert with ice-cream and fresh berries.
I’m more of a tea dunking, biscuit person but if I’m going to bake a cake this is my favorite kind of cake to make. It’s basically a variation on the pound cake but very light and airy with double sifted flour and beaten egg whites folded through the batter. It’s also incredibly moist due to the double down on the butter and yoghurt. It keeps well and also travels well, making it excellent for picnics! Best of all cake gives me an excuse to crack open my mini- Splayds to make afternoon tea all the more special.
Splayds are an eating utensil peculiar to Australia. They’re a combination spoon, fork, knife. They were invented by William McArthur, an entrepreneurial Sydney cafe owner, during World War 2 for American servicemen because it suited their style of eating. They were huge in the seventies, when buffet style dinner parties were all the rage. Every family I knew had a set of splayds and I inherited my family’s set because I love them so. They’re awesome for vegetarian food (or at least the kind of vegetarian food I eat) I use my splayds almost every day but I didn’t even know cake splayds existed until a friend found a set in an Op Shop in Melbourne and knowing my love for them gave them to me.
As regular readers of this blog know I’ve been horrified and devastated by the election of Donald Trump. It’s still hard to believe he’s now actually the president of the United States and it’s not just a bizarre episode of The Simpsons. It was heart lifting to see the women’s marches around the world kicked off by New Zealand and Australia… and Sydney! did itself proud even beating Melbourne for once in marcher numbers. It’s summertime down under so we couldn’t get into the knitted pink pussy cat hats. I totally fell in love with everything about them, particularly the craft circles that pumped out hand knitted hats for the non-crafty marchers. After the dour, funereal horror of the inauguration the women’s marches were completely joyous and life affirming.
As much as I loved the pink pussy hats it was the wit and humor of the signs that really lifted my heart. Trump is a man famous for never laughing (narcissists have no sense of humor). My favorite sign had to be this one, how gorgeous is this kid. I might take this as my life motto – I love naps but I stay woke.
In the same vein as the life affirming, joyousness of the women’s marches I loved this article from Washington Post on a lifelong Republican woman’s journey to Washington to protest for the first time ever.
Stay woke peeps! It’s Day 3 of the resistance.
Greek lemon yoghurt cake
Adapted from New Food Jill Dupleix
- 200 grams (7 ounces) butter
- 1 cup castor sugar
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- 4 free range eggs, separated
- 2 cups of plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup of yogurt
- Heat oven to 180C (350F)
- Cream butter and sugar with lemon rind until pale and creamy.
- Add egg yolks one at time and beat until incorporated
- Sift all dry ingredients together twice.
- Add some sifted flour to the butter mixture and alternate with yoghurt then flour mixture until all flour and yoghurt are mixed through ending with the flour.
- Beat egg whites until peaks form and fold egg whites gently through cake batter until well incorporated.
- Pour batter into a lightly greased 23 cm ( 9 inch) springform tin or two 15 cm ( 6 inch ) springform tins.
- Bake for 45- 65 minutes (depending on size) or until a skewer comes out clean
- Cool in tin for 10 minutes then remove from tin and cook on a rack .
- Dust with icing sugar. Serve with ice-cream and berries if desired.